Perspectives of physical education from teachers, staff and students in a juvenile justice setting

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University of Alabama Libraries

There is a dearth of research on physical education in the juvenile justice system. This dissertation, comprised of three studies, examines that domain in the context of the SOAR program. The first study retrospectively used a teaching journal to examine the lived experience of teaching physical education in an all girls' juvenile detention center. The use of autoethnography guided this descriptive study through the lived experiences of the physical educator. The data indicated that physical education was often met with roadblocks and detours to implementing developmentally physical education practices. However, many breakthroughs occurred because of the number of bridges built and crossed for meaningful success in physical education. The information provided by the first study affords insight to the succeeding two studies. Drawing on research from Carlson (1995) and Dyson (1995) on student voice, the second study examined student conceptions of physical education in traditional schools, detention centers, and in their current program. Through interviews, students described their physical education within the three settings and were able to discern the discourse between learning institutions. Additionally, through their description of physical education within SOAR, students disclosed ways in which physical education has been beneficial in their rehabilitation process. Working through the difficulties as a physical educator in youth detention and listening to student voices on their conceptions of physical education led to the examination of staff and administration conceptions of physical education. Occupational socialization was the framework used to analyze conceptions of those working in the SOAR program. Understanding staff and administrator's personal experiences in physical education and how those experiences influenced their perceptions of physical education provided insight to how their socialization shaped their negotiation of physical education through their role in the workplace. While many agreed that physical education was important in these types of institutions their understanding of value was misplaced.

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Physical education, Kinesiology, Education